DRUG CABIN’S SELF-TITLED DEBUT EP DUE JUNE 19 ON 401K MUSIC, LA-BASED BAND IS NEW PROJECT OF NATHAN THELEN (PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES/MOONRATS) & MARCUS CONGLETON (AMBULANCE LTD)
LOS ANGELES, CA, March 28, 2012 - A woozy mix of sun-warped pop, dreamy psychedelia, and melancholy folk, Drug Cabin’s eponymous debut EP will be released June 19 on 401K Music. The Los Angeles-based band is the new project of singer/guitarist Nathan Thelen, formerly of Pretty Girls Make Graves and Moonrats, and former Ambulance LTD frontman, Marcus Congleton.
Drug Cabin’s introductory EP was created and recorded by Thelen in the summer of 2010 with the help of former Graves bandmate Nick DeWitt (Liars). With DeWitt as producer, they set up shop at friend Josh Klinghoffer’s (Red Hot Chili Peppers) house to record a handful of songs Thelen had been piecing together. “I really just wanted to play music and record with my friends for fun,” Thelen says.
The result is a six-track EP rife with sunshiny melodies and interesting instrumentation that showcases Thelen’s songwriting prowess and DeWitt’s ear for simple yet sublime arrangements. Far from the angular indie rock of Pretty Girls Make Graves (in which Thelen played guitar) but not entirely dissimilar to the melodic songcraft of Moonrats (in which Thelen wrote, sang and played guitar), the music of Drug Cabin is a new direction for the former Seattleite and radiates a laid-back Southern California vibe.
Opener "Whatever Never" combines a jaunty phased guitar with bouncy bass as Thelen sings “I got a message from a new old friend/said love will never end/said it could only lend/Its weight to Earth” in his blissful timbre. As the song continues, harmonies weave in and out and a ’60s-esque guitar lick cuts through before jangly guitar pairs with synthesized strings to sneakily envelop you in sound. “Barracuda" is a trip under the sea as drums click, clang and bang alongside spacey organ, rumbling bass, a staccato rhythm and languid lead guitar. "On the Mountain" and "One I Love" strip things back to acoustic guitar, sparse piano and drums and let Thelen’s evocative lyrics and beautiful voice take center stage. ”One Face” is a masterful display of tension and release as the song repeatedly rises and falls, adding layers of instruments until it builds to a compelling climax. Drug Cabin’s simple melodies belie their sonic intricacies; upon closer listen there’s a lot more happening in each song than it first appears.
Although not part of the debut, Marcus Congleton, who found success fronting the N.Y. indie rock band Ambulance LTD, is a vital part to the growth and evolution of Drug Cabin. A fellow transplant, Congleton met Thelen in their adopted hometown of Los Angeles and instantly connected musically. In fact, Congleton played his first Drug Cabin show without having listened to any of the band’s recordings. After that he became a full time resident of the Drug Cabin. Thelen and Congleton are currently at work on a collection of songs featuring both of them on singing and songwriting duties. They have just solidified a live lineup and will be playing shows throughout LA in the coming weeks.